Taking Back The Tools
by Kay Stoner


Did they steal from you, Artemis
the hunt and the boar, and give that chase, that form,
to some man you could have broken across your knee?
Did they steal from you, moon,
the title of "man"
and give it to those who knew nothing
of you besides a thing they could only call madness?
And, oh great Babylon,
they named you "whore", while they looted
your libraries and plagiarized your verse,
put "he" and "him" in place of "she" and "her",
then called your daughters infidels for keeping your
memory just barely alive.

Did they strip from you, Demeter,
the three-fold self,
make one maiden-mother-crone
into some father-son-whatever chain of command,
and banish you to harvest's final sheaf?
Since when did they slice off Pluto's breasts
of plenty and make her into a man?

Our words
they have stolen, dismantled, reassembled,
then swore they invented in Eden.
Our stories, our past, is all "myth" and "legend",
the days and the numbers we once counted as sacred,
defiled by their preoccupation with demons.

All these things--and more--we've forgotten.
So much abducted by envious monks, mutilated, mutated,
returned to daily life in forms but shadows
of what once was.

Oh, Audre, this house never was built
with a master's tools.
This house was long-standing--but stolen,
then renovated to their whims.
They would have us think
this house is of their making--but I know better.
I am not dismantling this house.
I am taking back the tools.

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